Rendon is being called up to provide a spark to an offense in desperate need of it, especially with the absence of Bryce Harper. Lombardozzi and Espinosa have combined for -1.4 oWAR according to Baseball Reference, and neither has an OPS above .550. Suffice it to say, second base has been a black hole for offensive production. While Rendon has only played eight games this season at second base, the enticing potential of his bat and lack of other options forced this move. Concerns about Rendon’s health are legitimate since he has fractured both ankles in the past, but both injuries appear to have been freak accidents. There would be more concerns about him wearing down if this were a career move, but since Rendon’s future is at third base and not second, he should be able to handle it for this season.
Rendon hit .319/.461/.603 at Double A Harrisburg with more walks than strikeouts, so his second promotion the majors is not premature. Despite his relatively paltry .240/.367/.280 line in his eight major league games this year, he was worth 0.1 oWAR and is already an upgrade over Lombardozzi, despite his lack of major league experience. Additionally, his great plate discipline and ability to draw walks are exactly what the Nationals need, having drawn just eight walks in their last eight games combined.